Admitting she was "the most-high risk" of saying something on camera that could get her in trouble, Daniels told TooFab she was "very concerned" and actually had some guarantees put in place by production before agreeing to the series.
"I initially said no over and over because I was afraid there would be somebody on the show that would provoke or instigate or push me into perhaps saying something that would affect my still-open legal cases," she explained. "So I was the only one with the biggest risk, financially via lawsuit stuff. I still have open cases. They were like, 'Hell no, we promise it's no politicians or anything like that,' because I was like, 'Not Doing it.'"
In the end, she claimed producers told her they wouldn't tell her who would be on the show with her, they added, "We do promise you that it's no one from the Trump organization."
While Daniels had that little bit of intel, she and the rest of the cast swear they had no clue who would be waiting for them when they arrived for filming. As the last to arrive, Alsina said he "felt a little bombarded by everybody's energy," while Perry was "really excited to get to know everyone" and their various personalities.
"We truly lived together, 24 hours a day, the good, the bad that comes along with all that. So you really got to know everybody for who they are and I think everybody has moments -- I don't know what will be shown on the show -- where you get to know people on a way deeper level than you'd ever expect," added Muniz. "I think that's the coolest part about the show. You're getting 8 big personalities in a situation they normally wouldn't be in and I think that's what makes the show unique and really fun to watch."
Coles also told TooFab that while they were "kind enough people that we weren't going to go straight for the gossip" upon meeting one another -- everyone except for Tamar at least.
"Tamar did ask Stormy the question everyone wanted to know. You were the last one in the house and, boom, she went straight for the jugular," said Kim, "but I don't think anyone pulled anyone aside and went, 'Is it true that you ...' 'Have you ever so and so.' We got to know everyone first and then everything is revealed."
"That's not necessarily true!" exclaimed Braxton. "I didn't know who Stormy was. It was just a lady who brought this little Chucky doll in this house. I thought the doll was going to kill everybody. She said the doll was alive. I'm a Christian. I was like, 'What in the witchcraft is going on over here?' Then she told me she was Donald Trump's piece and I was like, 'Oh, I need to know the tea, what's going on!'"
The group all had different goals heading into the show, but most of them really wanted to push themselves outside of their respective comfort zones. For Braxton, her appearance on the show comes after a 2020 hospitalization for severe depression.
"I had experience in this before because I did Big Brother, so I knew it wasn't as bad as people who didn't have the experience would have thought it was going to be. The truth is, you forget that the cameras are rolling, especially when it rolls 24 hours," she explained, saying she was "glad" she agreed to do the show.
"I learned a lot more about myself and where I was mentally then [I was] in a different place than I am now and I'm really proud of that," she continued. "I have to attest that to this show, because it really gave me an opportunity to really test that and test where I was, my therapy and what I needed to work on and what I didn't want to work on anymore. This show was a real blessing for me, because it came at a time where I really needed to test myself."
"I had to see if my health was in a proper place to be able to go do something like this show, if my mental health was in a proper place, or my social skills even too," said the self-described introvert. "For a while I had kind of been in my own zone, in my own circle, my own space and wasn't used to interacting with people in that close of a proximity. I really was more-so concerned about myself, like am I in a space to show up as my best self on television."
"It was a strange experience, starting off. As am empath, you feel everything and I'm overly sensitive to everything, so if I feel somebody's sad, I feel that s--- and then I naturally, probably unconsciously or subconsciously, go into a space where I feel like I want to shift the energy somehow," he continued.
While Manny MUA struggled a bit with imposter syndrome -- questioning whether anyone would know who he was or if he'd be able to relate to anyone -- he said his biggest concern going into the house was that there would be a homophobe among his costars.
"What if I'm going to meet someone who is not about the glam and the men in makeup and what I do?" he wondered. "That's always a little bit of my fear. Not all of America is built the same. I live in LA, in a liberal bubble. I was really scared I was going to run into someone that wasn't about my lifestyle and thinking it's a choice and all these things that are super, super Christian."
Thankfully, as Coles said, there were people in the house like Dennis Rodman "going, 'Do my makeup!"
And, speaking of Rodman, his naked body appears quite a bit in the first trailer for the show's return.
"You don't get used to that. I said I saw more penis on this than I do at my real job!" exclaimed Daniels, a porn star, about how often the basketball legend was in the buff throughout production.
"I'm Dennis Rodman's dong's height. So it was really rough for me, being 5'4"," joked Muniz. "Why is it looking at me?!"
The group also called Rodman the show's biggest pot-stirrer -- with Kim exclaiming, "Dennis is the pot!" -- while Frankie and Manny were deemed two of the best mediators in the house.
Of Dennis, Muniz concluded, "I don't think he knew what he was doing, but he was making TV for sure."
The Surreal Life premieres on Monday, October 24th at 9PM ET/PT with back- to- back episodes.